On This Day
1796 – Surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company name an area in Ohio “Cleveland” after Gen. Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party.
Moses Cleaveland (January 29, 1754 – November 16, 1806) was a lawyer, politician, soldier and surveyor, from Connecticut who founded the U.S. city of Cleveland, Ohio, while surveying the Western Reserve in 1796.
Cleaveland was born in Canterbury, Windham County, Connecticut. He studied law at Yale University, graduating in 1777. That same year, with the American Revolutionary War in progress, he was commissioned as an ensign in the 2nd Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Army. In 1779 he was promoted to captain of a company of “sappers and miners” (combat engineers) in the newly formed Corps of Engineers.:14 He resigned from the army on June 7, 1781 and started a legal practice in Canterbury.
As a Freemason he was initiated in a military lodge and then he became W. Master of Moriah Lodge, Connecticut.
Cleaveland was known as a very energetic person with high ability. In 1788, he was a member of the Connecticut convention that ratified the United States Constitution. He was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly several times and in 1796 was commissioned brigadier general of militia. He was a shareholder in the Connecticut Land Company, which had purchased for $1,200,000 from the state government of Connecticut the land in northeastern Ohio reserved to Connecticut by Congress, known at its first settlement as New Connecticut, and in later times as the Western Reserve.:9
Cleaveland was approached by the directors of the company in May 1796 and asked to lead the survey of the tract and the location of purchases. He was also responsible for the negotiations with the Indians living on the land. In June 1796, he set out from Schenectady, New York. His party included 50 people, including six surveyors, a physician, a chaplain, a boatman, 37 employees, a few emigrants and two women, who accompanied their husbands. Some journeyed by land with the horses and cattle, while the main body went in boats up the Mohawk, down the Oswego, along the shore of Lake Ontario, and up Niagara River, carrying their boats over the long portage of seven miles at the falls.:10
On 2 March 1794, Cleaveland married Esther Champion, by whom he had four children.
Founding of Cleveland
At Buffalo, a delegation of Mohawk and Seneca Indians opposed their entrance into the Western Reserve, claiming it as their territory, but waived their rights on the receipt of goods valued at $1,200. The expedition then coasted along the shore of Lake Erie, and landed, on July 4, 1796, at the mouth of Conneaut Creek, which they named Port Independence. Nearby Indians were upset at the encroachment on their land, but were appeased with gifts of beads and whiskey, and allowed the surveys to proceed.:11 General Cleaveland, with a surveying party, coasted along the shore and on July 22, 1796, landed at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. He ascended the bank, and, beholding a beautiful plain covered with a luxuriant forest-growth, divined that the spot where he stood, with the river on the west and Lake Erie on the north, was a favorable site for a city.:12
He accordingly had it surveyed into town lots, and the employees named the place Cleaveland, in honor of their chief. There were but four settlers the first year, and, on account of the insalubrity of the locality, the growth was at first slow, reaching 150 inhabitants only in 1820.:12 Moses Cleaveland went home to Connecticut after the 1796 expedition and never returned to Ohio or the city that bears his name. He died in Canterbury, Connecticut,:13 where he is also buried. Today, a statue of him stands on Public Square in Cleveland. The statue makes occasional appearances in popular media referencing Cleveland, including the movies Major League and Draft Day.
The place called “Cleaveland” eventually became known as “Cleveland”. One explanation as to why the spelling changed is that, in 1830, when the first newspaper, the Cleveland Advertiser, was established, the editor discovered that the head-line was too long for the form, and accordingly left out the letter “a” in the first syllable of “Cleaveland”, which spelling was at once adopted by the public.:13 An alternative explanation is that Cleaveland’s surveying party misspelled the name of the future town on their original map.
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Born On This Day
1881 – Augusta Fox Bronner, American psychologist, specialist in juvenile psychology (d. 1966)
Augusta Fox Bronner (1881–1966) was an American psychologist, best known for her work in juvenile psychology. She co-directed the first child guidance clinic, and her research shaped psychological theories about the causes behind child delinquency, emphasizing the need to focus on social and environmental factors over inherited traits.
Bronner was born July 22, 1881, in Louisville, Kentucky to Gustave Bronner and Hanna Fox Bronner. The family was Jewish, and Augusta Fox Bronner’s grandparents on both sides of the family were originally from Germany. She had two siblings, an older brother and a younger sister.
After living in Cincinnati for several years, Bronner’s family returned to Louisville, where Bronner graduated with her high school diploma in 1898.
Bronner’s mother and grandmother both encouraged her to study and build a career. Bronner had aspired to be a teacher since youth, and after high school she pursued an educator’s certification at the Louisville Normal School. She dropped out briefly, due to eye problems, and spent a year travelling in Europe with her aunt before returning to the Normal School and graduating in 1901.
After enrolling in the Columbia University Teachers College, Bronner completed her bachelor’s degree (B.S.) in 1906, soon followed by her master’s degree (A.M.) in 1909. During her studies, she worked part-time grading papers for psychologist Edward L. Thorndike. She returned to Louisville briefly, teaching at the local Louisville Girls’ High School – her old school – until her father’s death in 1911. Bonner then began her doctoral studies at the Teachers’ College, working with Thorndike.
In 1914, Bronner completed her doctoral degree and published her dissertation, entitled A Comparative Study of the Intelligence of Delinquent Girls. Bronner’s research showed that there was no correlation between delinquency and mental disability, undermining the common notion of the time that criminal behaviour was passed down through biological factors.
In 1913, while taking a summer course at Harvard University, Bronner met Chicago neurologist and professor William Healy. Healy was equally interested in the study of child delinquency, and subsequently hired Bronner to work as a psychologist at his Chicago Juvenile Psychopathic Institute. In 1914, the institute was renamed the Psychopathic Clinic of the Juvenile Court, and Bronner soon became the assistant director. Bronner and Healy proceeded to shape the study and treatment of delinquent youth, contributing to the scientific understanding that most juvenile crime stemmed from “mental repressions, social conflicts, and family relations”, not hereditary factors. Among other research, Bronner identified that delinquency often arose as a result of placing children with learning disabilities or special abilities in the wrong kinds of educational environments.
In 1917, Bronner and Healy took up new positions at the Judge Baker Foundation of Boston (later the Judge Baker Children’s Center), a new publicly funded child guidance clinic attached to the Boston juvenile court. Bronner handled most of the psychological examinations of youth, as well as interviews with girls and the youngest children. In 1927, Bronner and Healy wrote the influential Manual of Individual Mental Tests and Testing, a comprehensive guide to assessing a patient’s mental state. Although Healy was originally given the full position of director, with Bronner acting as assistant director, Bronner eventually became co-director of the Foundation in 1930. The Judge Baker Foundation soon became a model for other child guidance clinics across the country, with its co-directors developing important psychiatric practices such as the “team” method, in which psychologists worked together with social workers and physicians to treat a patient.
On November 19, 1930, Bronner and Healy were invited by President Herbert Hoover to attend the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection.
During the 1930s, Bronner also worked briefly in New Haven, Connecticut, as Director of the short-lived Research Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. She was president of the American Orthopsychiatric Association in 1932.
After her dissertation, Bronner published The psychology of special abilities and disabilities in 1917. It was reprinted multiple times, helping to boost the vocational testing movement. Her 1916 article “Attitude as It Affects Performances of Tests” was well-cited by others in subsequent research, exploring how certain factors could affect test results.
As her personal and professional relationship with William Healy grew, Bronner retreated from publishing her individual work, preferring to co-write with Healy. In collaboration with Healy, Bronner published multiple books on juvenile psychology, including Reconstructing behavior in youth: A study of problem children in foster families (1929), Treatment and what happened afterward (1939), and What makes a child delinquent? (1948).
Personal life and retirement
In September 1932, after Healy’s wife died, he and Bronner finally married. According to biographer John C. Burnham, marriage changed very little about their professional relationship, its only effects being the easier facilitation of their working together on evenings and weekends and “complicating administration of the clinic” whenever the couple went on vacation together.
A shortage of staff during World War II prolonged Bronner and Healy’s work at the Judge Baker Foundation, despite retirement plans. After the couple finally retired in 1946, Bronner destroyed most of her own personal research and unpublished papers, preferring to keep the public’s focus on her husband’s academic work. Bronner and Healy spent their retirement in Clearwater, Florida.
Bronner died in Clearwater on December 11, 1966.
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